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With record cold, CMS to operate on a 2-hour delay

Snow falls in Charlotte Wednesday afternoon along Levine Avenue of the Arts near South Tryon Street. Record cold has moved into the Charlotte area. Temperatures won’t return to historic averages until Sunday.
Snow falls in Charlotte Wednesday afternoon along Levine Avenue of the Arts near South Tryon Street. Record cold has moved into the Charlotte area. Temperatures won’t return to historic averages until Sunday. bfox@charlotteobserver.com

With record cold forecast for Thursday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other area districts will operate on two-hour delays.

Thursday’s forecast is for a high of 21 and an overnight low Thursday night of 5 degrees. The record low: 8 degrees, which was set in 1958, according to the National Weather Service. Wind chills could be as low as 7 degrees below.

That’s in sharp contrast to last year’s high of 76 degrees, the record high for the day.

The normal high for Feb. 19 is 56 degrees.

Other districts on a two-hour delay include Union County Schools and Mooresville Graded. Cabarrus County Schools will be closed Thursday.

Thursday will be the first time most CMS students will have been in class for a week. The last two school days have been canceled after an ice storm came through the Charlotte region, and there were no classes on Monday because it was a teacher workday.

The decision was based on snow heading into the region and forecasts of bitter cold early Thursday morning. Employees will be asked to report to work at their regular times, if it is safe to do so.

Before- and after-school care programs will run normally. Schools will dismiss at their regular times, and after-school activities and athletics will be held normally, as well.

According to the National Weather Service, the cold air and strong winds could result in frost bite and hypothermia if precautions aren’t taken.

The temperature won’t improve much Friday – the high is forecast for 25 degrees – but it won’t fall much Friday night.

Seasonable weather is forecast for Sunday, with a high of 56. But rain is likely.

Staff writers Andrew Dunn and Ronnie Glassberg contributed.

Cold weather tips

The Humane Society of Charlotte recommends that people keep their pets indoors during cold weather.

Local officials also reminded people of these tips:

▪ Keep fresh batteries on hand for flashlights and weather radios.

▪ If pipes are vulnerable to freezing, keep the faucet at a slow drip. Plumbers say it’s best to use the faucet farthest from where water enters the house. And never use an open flame to thaw a pipe.

▪ Do not burn charcoal indoors because that can produce carbon monoxide fumes.

▪ Keep electric generators outside and away from any open windows or doors.

▪ Make sure space heaters are in good working order. In the past five years, 1 of every 7 space heater fires caused a death, according to Medic.

▪ When the sun is shining Thursday, keep your blinds open on sunny sides of the house. The solar heat will help warm your home.

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